Flu season could hinder hospitals

11-07-2018 by admin

Tasmania’s public hospitals may not be able to cope with the added pressure of this year’s flu season, according to Australian Medical Association Tasmania presidentassociate professor Tim Greenaway.

Flu season is expectedtohit the state in less than four-weeks.

“Tasmania simply does not have adequate capacity in its major public hospitals which are already operating over capacity when there is a mildly busy period,” associate professor Greenaway said.

A consortium of major hospitals across Australia monitor flu outbreaks.

“Last winter, across all the hospitals in the consortium, 12.5 per cent of all admitted patients were admitted because of the flu and complications of the flu and that figure is widely thought to be an under-estimate.”

Nearly 8per cent of patients admitted to hospital with the flu required an intensive care unit.

Health minister Michael Ferguson said the government is implementing a winter illness strategy across Tasmanian Health Service sites.

“We will consider temporary flexing of beds where required as part of ourPatients Firststrategy to address high demand in emergency departments,” Mr Ferguson said.

“Other actions include working with the private sector to manage emergency demand and elective surgery.”

The governmenthas invested in more nurses and doctors and reopened beds.

“I again encourage every Tasmanian to get a flu shot to support their own health and to potentially reduce hospital demand this winter.”

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